How to Buy a Used Car

Pre-Owned Vehicles

Searching for the right used or certified pre-owned vehicle can seem like a daunting task, but learning how to buy a used car from a dealer can take the worry out of the car buying process. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, haven’t bought a car in a while, or have had bad car buying experiences in the past, the team at Don Johnson Motors is here to walk you through how to buy a used car. We’ll run through what to ask when buying a used car, what to check for when buying a used car, and more, so you can head into the Rice Lake-area dealership armed with knowledge! If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to Buy a Used Car From a Dealer

There are many benefits of buying a used car from a lower price compared to similar new cars to more accessible technology, to availability of discontinued models. While you’re searching for the right car for your Hayward commutes and adventures, you can find options like our used cars under 10k, certified pre-owned models, and other top Vehicles choices. Here’s some steps for how to buy a used car from a dealer like us here at Don Johnson Motors:

  • Set a Budget: Take time to consider the balance between cost to buy and cost to own. Be sure to factor in future repairs, new tires, routine maintenance, and if a car loan is needed to finance the used car. A tip to keep in mind, a monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 10% of your monthly income. Get an idea of monthly payments with our payment calculator.
  • Find the Right Used Car: There are a couple of factors you should consider when learning how to buy a used car. It should fit your budget, match your mileage expectations, and fit some of the key requirements like the vehicle history report. We’ll cover what else to check for when buying a used car in the next section. Start by compiling a list of cars you’re interested in and compare that to what’s offered at the dealership. Then, do a deep dive into the reliability reviews from sites like Edmunds or KelleyBlueBook, and compare what price the vehicle sold for in your area.
  • Test Drive and Inspect the Models: It can take determination to find the right used car that matches your style. Be sure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and have it inspected by a trusted mechanic, and take it out for a test drive to verify the performance you’re taking on Cumberland-area roads.
  • Used Car Financing and Other Fees: Once you’ve found a used car that works, take your time to explore your loan options, and be sure to factor in other fees and credits like state sales tax, registration fees, and the trade-in value of your previous vehicle. When completing the deal you’ll also want to make sure you’re covered with any applicable warranties and car insurance plans.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car

There can be a lot of variety when shopping for a used car, so it’s important that you know what to look for and ask to make sure you’re not signing up for costly repairs in the future. Here are some tips for what to ask about when buying a used car:

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • Do the amenities and features work like they’re supposed to?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • How was the vehicle priced?
  • Can I take the car to a mechanic for an inspection?
  • Do you have the title in hand?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?
  • Does this vehicle affect your insurance premiums?

Find Your Used Car with Don Johnson Motors!

With a better idea of how to buy a used car and what to check for when buying a used car, we hope you have some confidence in your used car search. The shopping process is even easier with Don Johnson Motors thanks to our affordably priced models, full-size service facilities, knowledgeable finance team, and range of vehicles from all your favorite brands like Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and RAM.

Our Pre-Owned Inventory


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734 West Avenue • Rice Lake, WI 54868

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